What If You’re Not?

I was listening to an audio recording of a talk by Graham Cooke.

Graham shared a story about a dinner conversation he had with the lady who had just received a promotion. When he asked her if she was excited about the promotion, she told him, that she was, in fact “terrified.”

Graham considered this for a moment, and then asked her, “Yeah, but what if you're not? What if you're not terrified, but instead you are a bit anxious and somewhat excited?”

The woman thought about this, and then said Graham was right… she wasn't really terrified, but a more accurate description would be that she was a bit anxious and somewhat excited.

“Right,” said Graham. “But what if you're not? What if, instead of being a bit anxious and somewhat excited, you are actually only a tiny bit nervous and really excited?”

After thinking this over for moment the woman agreed that “tiny bit nervous and really excited” was a more accurate description of how she felt.

Graham proceeded to walk her through a few more progressions of this kind of thinking, until she realized that she was actually quietly confident and incredibly joyous about her new promotion.

Quite a difference from being “terrified”, isn't it?

The lesson I take from this is a simple one. It is this: the language we use to describe how we feel about any given situation has a powerful influence over our emotions.

Simply asking ourselves if it's possible that we might feel excited, instead of anxious, about a particular circumstance or situation, has the power to alter our actual emotions about that situation.

My question for you is: what situations are you facing right now that leave you terrified, bored, or depressed?

Think about that for a moment.

And then, think about this… what if you're not?

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.